Fire Alarm Remodels and TI what to look for
Here is a list of items to be aware of during remodels and TIs. (Tenant Improvements)
Write down what brand of existing fire alarm so you can match the new devices and appliances.
Get model numbers off the horn/strobes and the brand so those also can be matched.
Many of the old horn/strobes were 12 volt and most power supplies now are 24 VDC and most of the fire alarm horn/strobes are 24VDC.
If you need to add horn/strobes you will need to do battery calculations, if you add a new power supply you can do calculations based off just the new horn/strobes instead of the entire building.
Find out if the existing fire alarm panel is zoned (conventional) or addressable in case you need to replace the panel.
If you are making changes to the system you will need to file CAD plans, submittals, battery calculations and voltage line drop calculations to the fire marshal/city.
Often the city will have a permit fee for the fire alarm, a fee for a third party review and a fee for the CAD design.
Verify if plenum wire will be required or not. FPLP is Plenum
FPL is normal fire rated normally red wire for fire alarm systems installed in a one story building.
FPLR is riser wire is holds it’s own weight in a shaft and used on more than one story.
Often THHN cable will be used on Horn/Strobes make sure the fire marshal is ok with this if the specification lists FPL or FPLR or FPLP . THHN cable is rated for higher voltage than FPL so after discussing those requirements with the AHJ he or she may be fine with the THHN.
Understand that most of the new addressable systems require that the SLC addressable loop be FPL cable with a specific amount of twists per foot for data transfer. THHN cable may not work for this data transfer.
If the system is zoned you can replace it with a zoned system. If the system is addressable and you need to replace it you will need to replace all the addressable devices, smokes, pulls, monitor modules etc….
Often you can use the same horn/strobes if they are not addressable. Some brands have addressable horn/strobes and if this is the case you would have to replace them.
Also check the wiring because some smokes are four wire smokes and others are two wire smokes. Two wire smokes are supervised for the power but four wire smokes require a relay/power supervision module. If the power gets cut you need to alert the panel which will send a signal to the central station.